L'Association pour la santé environnementale du Québec / Environmental Health Association of Québec

Housing is a Human Right

Shelter is a basic need for all people, yet lack of accommodation can deny access to many. For people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), the use of chemicals, fragrances, smoke and exposure to things like pesticides and traffic exhaust can make a space inaccessible.

For people with this disability, this reality significantly limits the options for housing that remain. Proximity to things like neighbors using unhealthy products, smoking, golf courses, and highly trafficked roads can lead to continuous symptoms ranging from mild, to extremely severe upon exposure to these substances. Even with mild symptoms, a home open to exposures leaves these individuals with nowhere to go where they are safe and healthy. Severe symptoms leave these individuals experiencing a constant hellish nightmare.

For people with lower income and people living in cities, this can be even more challenging, since many homes may be in closer proximity to neighbors using unsafe products without considering the harm that it is causing.

No matter what, exposures to these substances entering the home are detrimental and ultimately lead to disproportionately high levels of unemployment and homelessness in this population, including decreased wellbeing and a severe decrease of quality of life.

This is more than just a need for buildings. The lives of many people with this disability are at stake, as lack of safe housing can lead to anxiety, depression, and has even led to people in the community pursuing medical assistance in dying (MAiD). These realities can and must be avoided by providing safe and healthy housing for people with MCS across the country.

Rather than allowing this injustice to continue, it is imperative that we act to ensure that people with MCS have access to safe, healthy and affordable housing. People with MCS deserve healthy spaces and community where they can live without constant exposures.

To make this hope a reality we have created a web form that you can fill out to immediately send a message to the officials in charge about this need. You can edit the message if you wish, but all you have to do is input your name and email and the email can be sent with just one click.

To make sure that this is as successful as possible, share this letter with family, friends and coworkers. You can also call the appropriate officials and continue contacting them to make sure they know that this issue must be a priority to help keep people with disabilities safe.

Whether you have MCS or not, you can take action and be an ally with this community to prevent the unnecessary loss of life due to this preventable problem. Click here to take action and notify those in charge of this issue.

We must stand together in the face of injustice and protect the MCS community. With over 1 million people across Canada with a diagnosis of MCS, this number continues to grow, but we cannot allow the suffering to continue to grow with it.

Take action now! Become a part of the change that needs to happen!